Crazy King

Folly and Fear

I don’t know if I will ever be able to write this down. It’s running through my head and I can’t stop it. Until I write it down I guess I just have to let it rush through my mind. It is funny that even when the world turns upside down I find myself still worrying about the fact I am a broke gnome. It may not matter after tonight though. He’s here, or at least some of his minions are. You know, like the minion that I tried to kill earlier and instead blew up a large segment of Karsis’ wall? There is that realization that I am broke again! Maybe this will be the opportunity I need to redeem myself in the eyes of Karsis. Timbertope seems to think so but then Timbertope is always a lot of more confident that I am not going to be eaten than I am. That’s why he’s a great gopher to have around.

The Foe blew up the Sapphire Staves Guildhall. He appeared to me in a dream. All of these suspicions for so long made real in a night. I feel a bit like I am going to wet myself. Or catch fire. That wouldn’t be so bad, it might actually be useful. The Foe may very well be in Karsis! We have to do something and fast. If we don’t move, if we don’t stop this, I don’t think anyone can. I feel like there are these eyes on us, on me. We were picked. I know we were picked by the Foe but maybe we were picked by some god or another as well? I don’t know anymore. Maybe that is just the delirium of fear.

Werevolt is here. We don’t know what to say to each other. We both dreamed the same thing. We know it before we even say a word. The big lug might actually look excited. Well fuck him; I’m not going to look afraid when he looks like he just got a shiny new axe to play with. Not that he would be able to afford a new axe since we are all pretty much broke. Screw you mind, revolving in circles! We need a plan, a good plan. Not like some of our other plans. What spells do I have readied? Are these really what I am going to have against the bloody Foe? Shit, this all happened too fast. First the Zern and now this! Life has been a shit shoot for too long now.

A plan. A plan. Messages! We need to get others ready, ready for what might happen. Who knows if this is isolated to the island? What if this is the attack the Foe has been readying for? Shit! The Academy links us to the gods-be-damned island! We need to get someone over there to defend it. Maybe the clerics of Heironeous? No! They need to keep watch on their own damn segment of that Staff. If they lose that then we are seriously doomed. What if the Foe can read my mind? FUCK YOU FOE! I’ll defy you until the end! I can’t believe I defied the Foe. Why did I do that?

Deep breath. Have to be ready for everything to come. I am strong. I am not Laji, the scared gnome. I am Lajicuvatew the Western Wizard of the West, Conqueror of the Forgetful Forest, Dominator of the Exploding Ants, Explorer of the Foul Labyrinth, Purifier of the Cursed Crypt and Annihilator of the Hated Zern. I fear nothing and I am looking to add a new title to my name. Fighter of the Foe? No that sounds like I might have lost. Too bad I already took Annihilator. No matter, I can decide upon it once I’ve won. I have to be strong. We can survive this and I damn well plan to. We can win this thing.

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Freedom
The stone steps gave way to blinding light as Lajicuvatew emerged from hell. The light reflected off of the white snow; the light of the sun, the light of the outside world. For uncounted weeks and months Laji had been bound beneath the earth and now, at long last, he was free. All other feelings and thoughts gave way to relief and an inkling of closeness. Timbertope was close and getting closer. Laji pushed past everyone and was almost buried in the great drifts of snow. A quiet scraping indicated the arrival of the gopher nearby and a moment later his head popped through the snow. The face was different, thinner and somewhat weary. Nonetheless it was Timber’s face. For what seemed an eternity, Laji had dreamt his reunion with his familiar. At long last, it was reality.
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An Inferno in the Darkness

Sounds echoed into Lajicuvatew’s cage from the outside world. He had been dreaming until the loud sounds woke him, bringing him back to his nightmare. It was amazing to him that so much sound could carry through the division between him and pain. His cage seemed so solid and real; it shielded him from pain and torment. He loved his cage. As long as he was in his cage, he wasn’t out there; he wasn’t out in that beyond of knives and hurt. Nonetheless, the sounds found their way in. They were persistent, the sounds, rarely fully stopping. Even when no poor soul was on that table, sounds persisted. Sometimes Imian screamed mad taunts. Sometimes Werevolt rattled his bars in fury. Sometimes Duncan clutched his legs and screamed in agony, even when they weren’t doing anything to him. Cora was almost always silent, sometimes even when they cut her. And Laji never heard Brian. Not ever. As a whole, though, they all made sound. They all brought him back to this place of horror. Sometimes Laji hated them for that.

He had been dreaming of Timbertope again. He wasn’t sure where the dreams ended and his bond to Timber began. He was sure at least some of the time he was seeing and feeling the world through Timber’s eyes, living a life of freedom in the wilds. Other times, Laji was reunited with Timber and free of the terrors of his surroundings. But he felt fairly sure that those were always dreams, tantalizing glimpses into a dead reality. He couldn’t say for certain though. It was too difficult to think that clearly. He was too hungry and tired and pained to really know anything for certain. Except that out there, somewhere, was a gopher who was alive and searching for him; the noblest gopher that ever would live.

Outside, Werevolt was screaming. His thick accent and deep voice blended to make a terrifying holler as a Zern cut him. Laji wasn’t sure who was working on Werevolt. He refused to look or listen closely enough to find out. He heard the voice of the Zern coaxing Werevolt to accept “the dragon within,” whatever that meant. He tried to return to his dreams, tried to let Timber take him away again. Before long, he was slipping away, back into oblivion. Timber was running through a field, making his way over the fallen leaves of autumn. The seasons were changing. Time was passing. The pain was a nightmare. Timbertope was reality.


Laji had felt Timber growing closer for a long time. The specifics were lost to him but the gopher was gradually closing the distance between Laji and himself. He felt strange as he awoke, like something imperceptible had changed in the world around him. He felt angry about his situation, angry for the first time in what seemed a lifetime. He was angry at the Zern, angry at being trapped, angry at not being able to rejoin his noble gopher. That anger was like a fire inside him, a fire just waiting to be let free. The sensation was intensely odd, as though some half remembered spell was making itself available to him. He pondered this for a moment, letting the feeling wash over him. He had almost forgotten what the arcane meant to him in his void of pain and fear. He had been bound by shackles around his wrists for so long he’d almost forgotten hope. He decided that this new power, this mighty flame within, could not be stopped by his bindings. He decided to be free. To find Timber himself or die trying!

He held up his shackled hands and focused all his anger, all his fear, all his pain. Fire exploded in front him, wearing at the bars, blackening the stone floor. It faded after a moment but the bars held strong. Fear coursed through Laji as he began to wonder if the Zern would be returning soon. He let another blast of fire go. The others had taken notice, were watching with eyes that glowed in the firelight. Again and again Laji released his newfound fire upon the bars until at last they crumbled and yielded before him. He was free. Free of his cage. Free to choose where to walk and what to do. He was so afraid he almost could not move. Immediately he began blasting away at Werevolt’s cage. The big lug would know what to do with this newfound freedom.

Laji worked swiftly, the new fire never seeming to exhaust. Soon, all of them were free. Laji was almost insane with fear and anger. The Zern could return at any moment. They were all hurt, all near death. They had to get free. He had to get to Timber! Together they would find Brian, ever absent Brian, and leave this place. They had to. Laji would die before being caged again.


They had found Brian. They had found poor, poor Brian. Laji couldn’t believe that there was so much evil in the world, enough evil in the world that someone would harm Brian; enough evil to torture Brian into near madness. Laji found, as they moved Brian into a great room full of torture devices, that he was no longer afraid. He was angry. He was furious and vengeful, desperate to extinguish the life of every creature within the big dungeon. Every Zern, every accomplice, every willing slave had to die. Imian and he had decided over the flesh bound books. They had made an oath, a pact. Every creature in this place would pay for what had happened to Brian. For what had happened to all of them. Laji heard echoes in the hall, clutched at his newly found spellbook. Their escape was no longer a secret and he had no magic. He was practically useless.

A mad plan was quickly hatched as Duncan, Imian and Werevolt moved the massive iron maiden within the room against the door. Werevolt braced himself, prepared himself for the long battle of strength ahead. He needed to last nine hours. It was impossible, a fools hope. But it was all they had; all there was to cling to. So Laji settled into a corner, missing Timbertope, silently willing his strength to Werevolt. The big brute had always been strong but now he appeared entirely composed of muscle. If anyone could do the impossible, it was him. Laji tried to rest.

Time passed and the Zern’s minions desperately tried to force their way through. For hours Laji faded in and out of consciousness. He sometimes was watching Werevolt sweat and struggle, other times he was with Timbertope in the wilds. Laji felt his brain gradually preparing itself to hold arcane secrets again. It had been a long time but the old mental exercises were easily remembered. All the while, as Laji slowly prepared himself, Werevolt held the iron maiden in place. He groaned and gasped but resisted every attempt to push open the door. Soon, Laji was ready to begin pouring over his spellbook.

“Just a little longer!” Laji hollered as the others worked to aid Werevolt. The big man was clearly exhausted, close to collapse. He held though, refusing to yield. Laji desperately began reading, recalling the secrets held within his precious tome. The final hour crawled by as Laji prepared. And then he was ready. Then they were all ready. The time for their stand had come, the time to prove they would never be captives again. Werevolt let the iron maiden free…and Laji hurled fire into the foes beyond.

Laji had never known he could wield such power. The flames exploded with a fury and the smell of burnt flesh and hair followed the black smoke that leaked into the room. Many creatures died but many others pushed forward. As one, Laji and the party cheered in readiness for battle. Laji prepared to hurl another fireball and muttered “This ones for you Timbertope!” as he hurled the bead of flame. He didn’t know how they would survive this but he would do everything he could to see his gopher again.

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Band on the Run
Will we ever get out of here?

“Fancy that, Lajicuvatew got his widdle hands out of the cuffs! Fat lot of good it’ll do him…..Stand back? Alright, I’ll stand ba-WHAT IS ALL THIS FIRE NONSENSE!? Oh…...I…...SEE. Hmmm… Oh my, he’s burned the cage down! (Melter of the Merciless Monkey Bars?) And he’s doing it again…....I’ll think of the implications of a fire-happy Gnome later I think. For now, I say Yes to egress! patooie! sizzle Hmmm…I’ll mind my feet then….much better.”

Having escaped our respective humble abodes (those bars were growing on me though) we set off to find a way out of the prison…..torture chamber…..all expenses paid inn….THING altogether (while all together). While the fog was a bit daunting, I was able to admire the remarkable architecture of the place. Having to stop and kill things on the way necessarily hindered this of course, but I will not be deterred! No, I’m not feeling myself, thanks for asking. Who are you? ANYWAY…my own explorations were cut short when Duncan mentioned offhand that he had discovered a trap in a section of hallway. Architecture isn’t for me anyways, you know? THEN WE FOUND BRIAN!!! Much rejoicing…...hmmm…...poor Brian. Those skin-bound books were bad business. Who knew the Zern were such prolific writers? Laji and I agree that we should endeavour to make them less prolific, and the whole place is in desperate need of new management. I figure we’ll decapitate the operation and replace it….some manner of plant. A nice plant though!

Zecks, Qzqeksss, Zsackss, Zacks…...ummm….the goddamn bitch died to Scaly, and I got to meet some very fine trash dwellers! Unfoturnately the excitement in meeting them was a bit much for me…..then we holed up in a room using an iron maiden as a door! Sezzo…..Zzezzo….the rat bastard and I had a lovely chat whilst we kept the door firmly closed….and then we opened the door on some nasty things…..and Laji used lots of fire after we got some sleep though I could use MORE sleep and FOOD….....

........It really is shit down here, I’m not sorry to say. We held off their lackeys, but I don’t know what we expect to do now. We can handle the Zern one at a time but….......damnit all, they know we’re out now! We’d best be on the move I suppose…...

I wonder how we’re going to move Brian?

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Last Session

Last Session

The party woke up in the Tipsy Giant bright and early for their Rendez vous at the Brotherhood. I believe this was the morning after Imian’s play The Brawler’s Brigand had been performed, and as a result he could not find his underpants. The gang met up with Sir Phillip, who informed us that a giant was causing a disturbance in the lands to the east, roughly an eight hour walk from Karsis. He explained in certain terms that we were not to aid in fighting the giant, but merely to watch the rest of the brotherhood take care of it as a demonstration of their fighting methods and prowess.

The eight hour walk to the east was fairly uneventful. The scenery itself gradually changed from a green, forested area to a sparse, arid landscape. While walking the party met some of the other members of the Brotherhood, including Pov, a monk, a couple of clerics, and some others (help with details!). By afternoon, everyone had reached the destination, a craggy, rocky landscape with huge platforms separated by enormous crevasses in the earth. We stood to the north-eastern corner of the area atop a high plateau. Directly diagonal from us, to our south-west, an enormous Craa’ghoran Giant was standing in the gorge. The brotherhood was intending to corner him against the wall of the canyon, and kill him.

The clerics positioned themselves on the plateau with us, and the fighters leaped in to try and attack the giant. The giant erected two stone walls from the ground using his magic, and trapped two of the brotherhood members inside the bottom of the canyon with him. Suddenly, six Kenkus appeared atop the plateau to our south, and started firing arrows at Sir Phillip. One hit, and he was instantly petrified. Laji cast a fireball spell at the group of Kenkus, and killed several of them. Then we started buffing our warrior, Werevolt. Over the course of several rounds, he was buffed with Bull’s strength, Haste, and Fly. Brian cast Shield Other on Werevolt, taking half of his damage, and Cora cast Shield other on Brian, taking half of HIS damage. Cora also summoned a Giant Eagle to fight the giant, and both Brian and Cora spammed healing spells for much of the fight. Duncan killed one of the Kenkus with his archery, and Imian attempted to confuse the giant with some kind of glamor spell.

In retaliation, the giant cast a spell which made stone spikes erupt from the ground, and with every step we walked, we took 1d4 damage. After being severely pummeled, the giant melded into the stone plateau where we stood. Whenever someone moved, the monster would sense its movement through the ground, and punch up at them through the earth. It took us a while to realize that we should distract it with the giant eagle, and then zap its up-thrusting hand with magic while it was visible. Eventually, severely bruised and beaten, we defeated the giant and the Kenkus, with Sir Phillip still petrified, and one of his fighters squashed to a pulp. We buried the dead, and Werevolt found a hidden cave in the side of the cliff face that contained gold, wooden carts, tapestries, and some other stuff. He insisted that we take all the things along with us, so we spent a long time allocating who would carry what amount of gold on the way back to town. We had to spend the night halfway to Karsis because there was not enough light left in the day to complete our journey, but we spent the night and the rest of the walk to town the next day unharmed.

When we got to Karsis, we decided to bring the petrified Sir Phillip to the priests of Hieroneous to see whether they could cure him. The priest in the lesser temple wanted to bring Phillip to the high priest himself, but would not allow Cora to come along to ensure his safety. While Cora and someone else were gone, Werevolt walked around town and ended up in the food hall. While there, he decided to listen to surrounding conversations to see whether he could learn anything about the mysterious events taking place in Karsis. See Quest page for details about what Werevolt heard. Imian too had been wandering around town gathering information, when he realized that someone had been following him. The person knew every party member’s name, and requested that we go see Lord Tallaman in his manor in the slums as soon as possible. The party once again congregated and proceeded to follow their escort to the slums to see what was up.

In a condensed version, Tallaman asked the party to investigate a vampire in the sewers of the city who had been thought to have conducted a series of murders within the city over the last couple weeks. He asked that we go and kill this vampire to ensure safety for his people in the slums, and offered us use of his library at our disposal for information we may need about the foe. When asked about The Foe, Tallaman said he would not answer questions about that now, but that he would once we had returned from slaying the vampire. There were many more questions asked, but I can’t remember them. Last, Tallaman gave a distinctly menacing attitude toward Brian, but when we asked him what that was all about, he would not answer.

We walked to the western side of town and entered a sewer grate. The larger party members, Imian, Werevolt and Brian decided to stay above ground because of difficulty crawling through the sewer, while Laji, Cora and Duncan crawled into the pipes. It was pretty disgusting, but we didn’t find anything terribly pertinent in the western sewer system. We came out above ground again, and heard that Imian had found something in the more centralized sewers. We congregated once again, and discovered that Imian had been shot with a dart from inside the sewer, had heard an evil hissing laugh, and that his torch he had dropped into the entrance had mysteriously disappeared when he looked for it. The party entered this larger and cleaner tunnel together, hoping to find the vampire.

We proceeded down the tunnel to find a giant hole in the floor of the tunnel. Werevolt asked Laji to cast Fly on him so he could go to the bottom of the tunnel to investigate. About halfway down the shaft, he saw another tunnel entrance with two women inside. One was I think Allena the high-priest’s guard, and the other was some kind of cleric perhaps. Werevolt zoomed back out of the shaft, and tried to grab Laji by his shirt to carry him down to see, but his grip slipped, and he dropped Laji around 60 feet down to the bottom of the shaft onto a Clay Golem. Laji lived, somehow, but was righteously pissed. After this little unfortunate episode, the group decided to take a break for the time being.

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Cora- Entry 3

I arose the next morning in the inn, feeling refreshed and eager for the excitement of the new day. The night before, I had finally met the party’s elusive third member who had been gone most of the day before. Apparently, the reason for his disappearance was that he had spent the entire afternoon in the slums section of town questioning the citizens and gathering information. The man’s name turned out to be Imian, and I knew the moment I saw him that he had some Elven blood in his lineage. When I saw him, I felt a brief but painful flash of homesickness for my people, but the moment soon passed. I must remember to make myself a friend, if not at least a close ally with this person, for we share an important and irreplaceable bond in our Elven heritage.

Anyway, that morning each of the party members went their separate ways within the city to explore it more fully. Werevolt, with gnomey riding on his shoulders, headed off toward the mercantile section of town, and I believe Imian left in search of the city’s royal theatre to offer his services. As for Brian and I, we walked back to the well to see if we could help the local clerics purify the well water. I must admit that I had a secret hope that we would meet this woman Alena at last and I’d finally be able to gain entry into the mysterious High Temple.

We waited at the well for about an hour or so, since we were unsure about exactly what time of day the clerics would appear. I did not begrudge our time waiting, for I had already grown very fond of Brian, and we spent the time chatting idly about our adventures thus far. After a while, once the sun was a bit higher in the sky, we saw an entourage of robed people making their way through the streets toward us. In the lead was a very tall, very beautiful human woman adorned with shining armour and a weapon at her hip. She marched purposefully towards where we stood, her eyes hard and determined, and her strong jawline set. The group would not have acknowledged us, and would have marched right past us to stop at the well, had I not hopped in front of the woman to gain her attention. Her face was politely cold as she waited for me to explain what it was I wanted. I asked her if I could speak with her for a moment after she had finished at the well, and I offered my and Brian’s clerical aid to her in purifying the well water. To my first request, she agreed, if somewhat unenthusiastically. To the second, she agreed a little more willingly, and the entourage of 6 or 7 other clerics stepped back to allow Brian and I access to the well. Brian and I each cast our spell, and stepped back, the incantation having been exhausted from our minds. The others stood there, casting spell after spell into the water, until finally only Alena remained, casting a few more spells into the well opening. I knew that she must have been a very experienced and capable cleric to have so many copies of her spell memorized.

After she had finished, she turned to me, not seeming particularly winded or tired, though Brian was sweating bullets beside me. She told me that she would answer my question now, and I knew this was finally my moment. I asked her if she could help me to get inside the High Temple of Hieroneous, for I dearly dearly wished to see it. She paused, regarding me intently, clearly surprised by what I had asked, but not showing any outward signs on her face. Pulling out her staff once again, she cast a spell over me, which I figured was in order to determine my purpose or my alignment. Whatever she saw, she was convinced my intentions were pure. I turned to Brian, and asked if he was sure he did not want to come as well. He did not look so well, and when he replied that he just wanted to return to the Tipsy Giant for a while, I did not push him. At that, I bid farewell to Brian, and strode off with Alena eastward toward the guardian forest, matching her pace stride for stride.

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Thoughts for Next Adventure

Karsis

People to talk to more and learn more about:

• Lord Talaman

• High Priest of H.

• Archmage of the Sapphire Staves

• Jimpy

• Alena

• Captain Blazingbuckle

• Druid/shark guy

• Kassir

• Tolman

• Head of the Skullcrushers

• Head of the Brotherhood

Statues:

1: Crazy Jack

2: Kaleb Talaman

3: Berthun McCree

4: High Priest Reynard Nichola

5: Heironeous

6: Heironeous

7: Lezane the Merchant

8: Arias Blazenbuckle

9: Captain Fruyan

10: Dominic

11: Acar

12: Cedric

Places to explore further

• Check out all the different temples in the city, Pelor, Cuthbert, and Hieroneous

• “The feud between the mages and the clerics has broken into violence in secret”

• Nobility section

• The slums, more in depth

• The brothel and pubs inside of the slums

• Talaman manor

• Statues- Lucien, the sculpter

• Guardian forest

• Wellspring source

• High Temple of Hieroneous

• Temple of Hieroneous

• The skullcrushers (inquire about Marcus Steele)

• The brotherhood

• Sapphire Staves guildhall

* Explore and identify every remaining unnamed building in town

• Bottom of the well

• Waterways, stream, docks, SEWERS etc

• Academy?

• Epitaphs, names inside the graveyard

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Cora- Entry 2

Turning around, I noticed a delightful little gnomey sitting on a bench across the street behind us in front of yet another large building. Werevolt indicated that this little person was one of his companions, and I, so filled with eagerness upon meeting a gnome, so rudely forgot to inquire his name. I later found out that it was something lengthy and difficult to remember, so I will thusly dub him Gnomey from now on. Though adorable, the gnome seemed somewhat less enthusiastic about meeting me than I was about him. Werevolt explained that he was going to take to me their friend Brian, who would then in turn assist me in explaining what the beautiful building sitting atop the precipice was. The gnome waved his hand dismissively, and continued sitting in irritation on his bench. I wanted to run toward him and hug the poor little guy to cheer him up, but I felt somehow that this well-meant gesture might be unwelcome.

I walked with this man Werevolt back toward the raucous tavern where he said his friend stayed guarding their possessions. He explained that he could not remain with me very long, for he and his two other companions were planning to explore the slums section of town in the Northeast corner. From this information I gathered that the man and his companions were, like myself, strangers in town, but he seemed unwilling to share the purpose of their visit. The man was heavily armoured, and his clothes seemed well worn from hard travel through the wilderness, so I gathered that at the very least he and his party were adventurers of some kind. I let the matter rest, for we soon approached the very bar I had been eager to explore but minutes before.

We entered the dimly lit tavern, and walked toward one of the heavy wooden booths toward the back of the room. There, a man sat eating his lunch quietly. I felt instantly that this man was a cleric, partially from the humble attire he wore, but more strongly from the general aura of peace and goodness that seemed to radiate off of his body. His eyes were lowered humbly, and he stuttered an awkward and uncomfortable reply when I greeted him cheerfully. I asked whether he knew anything about the majestic building atop the precipice in the centre of town, and he told me that it was the High Temple of Hieroneous. “Why should a temple of goodness be guarded by sharks, forests, sheer city walls, and a towering precipice?” I wondered silently. My curiosity intensified tenfold, and I asked Brian if he would help me attempt to get inside of this temple. He agreed, if somewhat uncomfortably, and rose from his seat inside the tavern. I felt badly for the poor creature, for it seemed like he had been sitting there guarding his friends’ belongings for quite some time now, and I felt he’d do well with a little bit of adventure. His companion Werevolt took his belongings and left to meet up with his two other friends to explore the slums.

I soon discovered that Brian was a very good walking companion. I chattered eagerly about the various statues and beautiful buildings we passed along our way, and Brian so kindly explained to me what function many of the buildings held. We walked toward the lesser temple of Hieroneous past a grand theatre, a masonry, and a public forum. I learned that this town had a much more complicated and delightful history than I had previously realized. Once we arrived at the temple, I inquired with the priest there how one might enter the High temple at the top of the precipice if there were so many obstructions in the way. He told me that only a woman named Alena was able to come and go through the forest of the guardians as she wished, and that if I wanted access to the temple, I ought to speak with her for permission. After that, Brian and I experienced a series of dead ends while we walked all over the city in search of Alena. We were told only that she could possibly be found working in the streets somewhere, so we walked back and forth across the city a couple of times, looking for further clues about her whereabouts. In our travels, we passed our companions Werevolt and the gnomey once or twice, and shared a brief salutation. I wondered where the third member of the party had gone to, but did not pursue the question any further since Werevolt and the gnome seemed eager to continue their business.

Eventually, Brian and I came upon a small residential section of the city located in the Northwestern corner of town. I overheard a citizen say something interesting about the well, and I decided I wanted to know more information. I cast a Detect Thoughts spell on the crowd surrounding us, which in retrospect, may have been a little hasty. However, I soon discovered that people in the area were complaining that the well water had been tasting funny lately for some reason. Curious, I poked my head into the well to see if I could notice anything. Though I can see very well in dim light, I could not visually detect anything unusual at the bottom of the well. I could sense, almost feel the water sloshing at the bottom of the well, since it had been a number of hours since I had refreshed my body in the stream, but something felt very wrong about it. Unslinging my pack from my shoulders, I removed my Everburning torch, and placed it in the well’s bucket. Lowering the bucket down to just above the surface of the water, I leaned once again over the well to see if there was something there. Much to my horror, I could clearly see the remains of a body floating in the water below!

By now, a crowd of curious peasants had gathered around Brian and I, and even though the light from my torch was illuminating the entire bottom of the well, no one else drew back in horror like I had. I had forgotten that humans could not see as well as I do, and told them that there was a body at the bottom. Several shrieks of horror pierced the air, and poor Brian’s face suddenly blanched like a ghost. We sprinted as fast as we could to the Guard Barracks we had visited earlier in our wanderings, and told them about what we had discovered.

By this point, Brian had been starting to feel ill, and wasn’t up for much more exploring, so we retired to the Tipsy Giant for the night. I refreshed myself in the stream, and returned to Inn for the evening. I was disappointed I had not yet entered the High Temple of Hieroneous, but I instinctively felt that I was one step closer to seeing it than I had been this morning.

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Cora- Entry 1

Entry 1

My first foray into the new city has proven to be an exciting experience! I had been swimming along through an unknown sea, generally bored and looking for something interesting to do, when I saw the walls of an enormous city looming in the distance before me. Generally curious with the ways of so many different races living in one compact area of land, the looming walls naturally drew me closer.

I swam lazily toward the city, allowing the current to draw me onward and do most of the work for me, taking in the beautiful weather and temperature surrounding me. Gradually my pace quickened, as my curiosity gained momentum, and I soon found myself face to face with the practically sheer wall of rock. Puzzled, I circled to the southern edge of the city, and found a sparkling stream leading out through a fairly large opening in the fortification. I pressed forward into the opening, pushing off of the jutting edge of rock in the opening to propel me forward against the slight current.

The further I travelled into the city, the greater my curiosity intensified. Looking around myself as I swam, the city was even vaster and more compact than I had imagined! I passed under three bridges and saw several tall buildings along the stream before the current started to grow thicker and more persistent. My pace slowed as I fought against the heavy current, but I saw a forest ahead of me and wished to see what lay inside of it. Just as I passed a large building to my right, an enormous shark appeared before me, stunning me into surprise. It appeared to be trying to communicate with me, but I fear I was quite unable to understand him. Though its body was large and menacing, he did not charge me or outright threaten me, he simply barred my path. Though I was safe for the moment, I did not dare test him at this time. I nodded, and allowed the current to push me back toward the last bridge I had passed under, and I crawled out onto the shore, musing that perhaps I could see the forest the shark had guarded by some other direction.

I continued northward into the city by foot, marvelling at the many buildings I passed on my way. There was one building with a glittering showcase that held incredibly beautiful stones, and another building where raucous music and drunken laughter emanated from. I was tempted to explore both of these places further, but my curiosity to explore what lay beyond the forest was set. I looked up into the dull cloudy sky, thankful for a little bit of cover from the baking sun of the day before, when I saw the enormous rock outcropping jutting majestically into the sky above me. I was filled with absolute wonder, and saw just above the cliff face the towering spires of the highly protected building. At that moment, I knew I would not rest until I had seen the beautiful building in person.

I rounded the street corner past a building stabling some horses, and saw a large hairy man standing in the middle of the street, appearing to be waiting for something or someone. I felt in my heart that he could help me, so I strode eagerly toward him and attempted to initiate conversation about the building above us. From this angle, I could see a little bit more of the building’s incredible spires, but it was still not nearly enough to satisfy me. I asked the man, who I eventually discovered is called Werevolt, if he could assist me into getting into that temple. Surprised and a little taken aback for some reason, the man said in his thick accent that he did not himself know, but he suggested that one of his other friends would be able to assist me in my quest. I nodded, and agreed right away. I had no other pressing business to attend to, and even if I had, I would probably have forgotten what it was upon first seeing this great city on the horizon anyway.

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So, um

We’ve been in Karsis for a few days now. The others have been very busy exploring the city, but, that is to say, I think that The Tipsy Giant is nice too. Plus, I was pickpocketed when I went out into the city-not that I mind, I mean they probably needed it more than I do-so it’s probably for the best that I stay put. And, uh, this way everybody knows where I am, so if they need help they can uhm find me. And I’ve been taking care of everybody’s belongings when they want to go into the poorer neighborhood of Karsis-I wonder they were pickpocketed too?

A half-elf named, uhm, Imian has joined us now. He plays some very wonderful music on his rebek. I wish I could play an instrument like he does. I think he wants to play at the theatre, but nobody has payed him enough attention so far. I don’t know why-I would want him to play for me everyday. When we told Imian about how we were tasked to, uhm, find the Staff of Regulus, he thought that the King was probably evil and…and…I’m not sure what else, but even that he is evil is enough to worry me. I couldn’t be fooled like that, could I?

In lighter news, we also met a wonderful woman, Cora, who says that she is a Sea Elf. I’ve never heard of a Sea Elf before. The city sure has some interesting people. She got to meet the High Priest! And then when she came back she had a ring of his that he had given to her! And she offered it to me! Such kindness and generosity…I have to endeavor to be more like her. And, Pelor granting, I’ll get my own chance to visit the High Priest.

Thinking on Cora reminds me that her and I found…found some poor soul at the bottom of the well two days ago. To die in such a horrible place…I hope he found his way to Pelor’s side.

I have to keep hoping that Garem is alive and well too. I continue to pray.

-Brian

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